This date has been commercially released as "Road Trips: Vol 3, No. 1: Oakland 1979"
Set I 01 tuning 02 Sugaree 03 Mama Tried > 04 Mexicali Blues 05 Row Jimmy 06 It's All Over Now 07 High Time 08 The Music Never Stopped
Set II 09 tuning 10 Alabama Getaway > 11 Greatest Story Ever Told 01 Terrapin Station > 02 Playin' In The Band > Jam 03 Drums > 04 Space > 05 Uncle John's Band > 06 I Need A Miracle > 07 Bertha > 08 Good Lovin'
December 8, 2019 Subject:
'79's run of runs
NYE was the big party but the nights before were often said to be the better shows, musically (except for '78, '86 & '87). This was the year Graham moved the party to the Kaiser Center (a stuffy old building with weird, dark hallways upstairs where weird things would happen, and no stairs from the high terrace onto the floor). The Kaiser held the NYE runs again in '80, '81, '82, and '86. The '79 NYE shows includes the 26th>28th, the best run of the year (though two tours had great non-run-but-consecutive shows: early Jan. & 10/25>10/31). I give the nod to this one over the 26th, but just barely (followed by the 27th). The 26th may have the best 1st Set of the year, but this is a better show overall and a candidate for best of '79; Brent builds on the 10/31 and 12/26 wins.
First Set. As others have opined, Sugaree is insane. They keep finding new pockets of jam. Even if it's not THE best of the late' 70s (Bobby didn't really "get" that slide playing doesn't have to be on top of the pickups - but we knew that already), it's still up there in the stratosphere. Mama Tried is short and very sweet. Mexicali takes chances atypical for this song plus an extra measure - and finds something there. After some flubbery, Row Jimmy climbs heights that counterbalance any average parts. The rest is well above average with good vox.
Second Set. Probably the best example of a '79 Alabama Getaway. I love these early long ones, and this smokes. Greatest Story is yr average, but Terrapin has cool, inventive fills during Lady with a Fan and beyond. The set belongs, though, to a crazy Playin'; uptempo and with a weird, Space-like jam leading to a sweet Drums with weird whistles & sumpin' a little different for '79. After a short Space the rest is average to above average with a UJB jam that's drum city. I like the abrupt count-off into Miracle. Bertha is also abrupt and fun (always gotta dig a second set Bertha from the Brent era). Good Lovin has a third, cool drop in. Casey Jones was only played seven times in '79 and Bobby is good in the end jam. Even though it's not NYE yet, there's a second encore with a crazy-good One More Saturday Night (get prepayode, there's gonna be a party tonight). Great interplay between Bobby and Jer - even during the verses! It must have been weird without Donna, so Bobby had started trying to screech - though not this night, where it's win.
1st Set: A 2nd Set: B-
Overall = 4½ Stars
Sugaree - great sections
Mama Tried - 1st great Brent Mama
Mexicali Blues - a little added something; rest of set great, too
Alabama Getaway - they loved playing it at this time
Playing in the Band - THE classic '79 Playin'
One More Saturday Night - party goin' on
SOURCES: This Ladner transfer had the best clarity. It was then updated by the 140833_sbd_pcm_miller. There's a great Seamons matrix, and the whole show is on Road Trips v3 n1.
July 7, 2016 Subject:
This was the night
for me at least
January 30, 2010 Subject:
overrated.... emperor's clothes
Honestly this is riddled with slop and off-playing. Definitely some great moments and a strong finish, but here we go again with people jumping onboard and dubbing this as a classic and others, not wanting to be left out, doing the same.
Those that think Cornell 77 is the greatest will say the same about this. The rest who think there are just so many other better shows will shake their heads.
Certainly enjoyable, but so many other better shows.
October 1, 2009 Subject:
This is an amazing soundboard -- one of the best of the eraI agree that the bass gets lost a bit, but I suspect that's more a function of the tapes of that era than of the mix. As evidence, give a listen to w/Dan Haugh's 12/11/79 matrix, which is full of deep growls & thundering bombs.
If you're a fan of Bobby's untethered rhythm playing, you'll dig this show. Just put some headphones on and give Sugaree a listen. He's all over it -- like a kid in the back seat w/his prom date. Yeeooww!
November 26, 2008 Subject:
"One More Saturday Morning" ...!
It being a Friday night and after midnight after "Casey Jones". (This isn't important but, when I was looking at them through my binoculars during "Casey Jones", I could see superimposed upon the band as if it were on T.v., the sign "Grateful Dead" which they brought out during that tune above them, the same one in "the movie"! But when I took down my binoculars it was normal i.e. not superimposed over the band but over head)! Honest to God, a very wierd mushroom halucination that I could see interchangably only through my binoculars!
The 2nd encore was a roaring version, even better than San Diego 1979/11/24 and up to par with or the entire rest of this absolutely amazing concert! One of the best I ever saw, out of the ~211 times I saw Grateful Dead.
Reviewer:Evan S. Hunt
January 6, 2008 Subject:
Marvelous! I Was There, Where Was I?
Tremendous performance, impeccable recording, etc.
All the first and second set is choice Grateful Dead. I noticed no appreciable flaws.
Funny, huh? I attended, but where was I? ... Probably in some dingey, smoke-filled room backstage...pretending in real time, pretending I was really there, but not really there...except I am there now.
Funny the things you take for granted. I came to a realization that this was just another one of those crazy ol' nights when you're not really paying attention because you somehow think it'll never end. And it hasn't.
What a marvelous, marvelous piece of business here, folks, Grateful Dead business...in spades!!!
just a minor complaint...Phil's bass...somehow, some way his bass mix in those days was so trampled. It sounded like the sighing of dying reeds crushed in crop circles, or some dang thing. To me, it was slightly annoying, sort of a too heavily distorted flutie flatness. Perhaps it was hall acoustics?
Nonetheless, one should not be disheartened because of my nattering about the bass. The notes played on this night by all players gallantly supercedes, and thereby, cancels-out the distortion factor. So...
"The jury shall disregard that last statement..."